In discussion with some Kuwaiti (and non-Kuwaiti) friends, they sympathized but said that they agree that foreigners are overwhelming the healthcare system; especially as foreigners in Kuwait represent 2/3 of the population. In an article today in the Arab Times, it gave reference to a study (unfortunately, not by name or who conducted it) that indicates that foreigners are indeed NOT overwhelming the system; that the majority of the budget goes to Kuwaiti nationals.
In a press statement issued by Board Chairman of Kuwait Human Rights Society, Khalid Al-Hamidi Al-Ajmi, on March 19, in response to the report on the health support issue, where it was revealed that Kuwait bears about $2 billion annually to provide health care for expatriates and about $3.5 billion per year for health care services to citizens. The report concluded that the health support does not go to the expatriates in Kuwait.
Further, if a Kuwaiti is sent abroad (for realistic or non-realistic treatment of ailments - the later meaning that he/she had wastah to approve being sent), he/she is given a stipend of 100 KD per day for both the patient and a companion. Do the math. Treatment plus daily stipend for long-term illnesses can be tremendously expensive when the solution might be to either hire outside or train Kuwaiti doctors to practice medicine at government hospitals in Kuwait with the proper tools and equipment. That is not an expat problem. Decades have passed and there is little progress. Patients are still being sent abroad for treatment.
So now politicians are quibbling about the possibility of NOT allowing subsidized medicine to foreigners in Kuwait? I could possibly even remotely consider this if there were any affordable healthcare alternatives here, but there aren't. If you purchase your own private medical insurance in Kuwait (individually and not through your employer company), you are looking at 600 KD and upwards per year. If the majority of expats in Kuwait are "marginal" workers, they are making less than 100 KD per month.
I was browsing through Kuwait Times today and came across this article, which on first glance, I thought to be another piece of trendy bashing.
I didn't see the author's name until I got to the end of the article. It is written by someone who I respect and admire - a friend from the 'hood in Kuwait. (I didn't even know he was a writer until I saw the article as I rarely ask what people do for a living unless the volunteer the personal information.) A man and his family who stopped when seeing me walk my dog past their house on the daily, and asked me to join them WEEKLY for their family dinner gatherings, "Just walk in any Thursday night. No need to call or knock." They are the kind of Kuwaiti family I remember from back in the day; hospitable, kind, and generous. Welcoming to foreigners in their country; and not just by sentiment (flowery words), but through action and sincerity.
Price of Expats' Medicine